Philippine Veteran Affairs Office leads81st Araw ng Kagitingan in Naga City
By Keren Anne Bernadas
NAGA CITY --- The Philippine Veteran Affairs Office (PVAO) in the Bicol region led the commemoration of the 81st Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) at the hall compound of this city, on Monday, April 10.
With the theme, "Kagitingan ng mga Beterano, Pundasyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino," the said activity aims to recognize the bravery of the Filipino war veterans who died while serving the country and those who rendered heroic military service and contributed in preserving the Philippines’ sovereignty and national security.
In her speech, PVAO Bicol head Allyn Solano higghlighted the significance of the said holiday.
“Ang Araw ng Kagitingan o Araw ng Bataan ay isang pagtalima sa Pilipinas kung saan ginugunita ang pagbagsak ng Bataan noong April 9, 1942 sa kasagsagan ng World War II. Hindi isang selebrasyon ang paggunita sa Araw ng Kagitingan; ito ay isang pag ala-ala sa katapangan ng mga Pilipino na nakipaglaban at nagbuwis ng buhay para sa bansa,” Solano said.
Besides pension and other benefit administrations, the core value and core function of PVAO is the memorialization of a veteran’s heroic deeds. She added that the government through PVAO created the so-called “Kagitingan Roadmap 2023” strategic plan which envisions a strong and unified Filipino veteran community as a partner in nation-building.
Solano expressed her gratefulness to the city government here for giving an office space for PVAO to further its assistance to veterans and their families; and for honoring the four living world war II veterans in Naga City.
The said theme was expounded by Mayor Nelson Legacion in his speech. He said, “Do not forget the foundation of our independence as a nation to build upon this history and to likewise embody the same traits and characters that they possess.”
Looking back at the fall of Bataan, Legacion described how unfavorable circumstances became a point of earnest perseverance and persistence among Filipino fighters to better clamor for freedom.
“That last line of defense persevered because our ancestors refuse to give up the dream of a free and better country and we now know that their sacrifices were not in vain, their labors and pains remains significant reminders in the long story of our independence in the same way that our brave heroes displayed faith and gallantry in holding firm to the freedom that the Filipino people deserve,” the mayor said.
Legacion inspired Nagueños that they should instill upon their hearts the essence of this year’s commemoration.
“We are also encouraged to hold fast our one hope and desire a better Naga that the Nagueños deserve. Our commitment remains anchored on our long term vision of a happy City of Naga that is healthy – vibrant, productive, smart, resilient, and more, enabled by people, centered by development and collaborative governance” he said.
Officials from the Naga City Police Office, 9th Infantry Division Philippine Army, Bureau of Fire Protections, and members of the Sangguniang Panlunsod ng Naga joined the said event. (With reports from Danilyn Borre, Ateneo De Naga University-PIA5/Camarines Sur)